The Merits of Fasting and the Month of Ramadan
Based on several narrations, "patience" has been interpreted as fasting due to the fact that fasting, consisting of abandoning certain acts such as eating and drinking for part of the day is one of the best forms of patience. Muslims have been advised by the narrations to resort to fasting when confronted with challenging problems and difficulties.
Although fasting is deeply connected to the month of Ramadan, it is an important act of worship by itself that cab be performed outside Ramadan as well. Except for two forbidden days, fasting is a recommended deed throughout the year, especially in certain months such as Rajab and Sha'ban and on certain days such as Mondays and Thursdays. Moreover the month of Ramadan, regardless of fasting, provides a great opportunity to give even to those upon whom fasting is not incumbent an opportunity to benefit from countless merits of this month. Interestingly, this opportunity is not confined to mature people, for Islamic narrations state that a fetus in his/her mother's womb or an immature child can participate in this banquet of Allah (SWT). Furthermore, sleeping is not regarded as an impediment for one's share of the excellence of the month of Ramadan.